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  • Northern finalist announced in the search for The Best British Tech Startup

    A Yorkshire start-up has made the finals in a national search to find The Best British Tech Startup.

    The competition, which is now in its fifth year, is run by professional services firm KPMG which reviewed more than 180 applications to find just six innovative UK businesses who will travel to Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to pitch their business to a panel of industry experts at five events across the country.

    Optalysys, which is based in Castleford, is developing optical AI systems designed to accelerate the most demanding deep learning and pattern recognition tasks at ground-breaking speeds but at a fraction of the energy consumption of traditional computing hardware. Manchester-based Nivo, which is a secure messaging network that enables users to talk to a range of financial services brands, received a commendation for its pitch.

    Commenting on the competition and the Northern finalist, Graham Pearce, Head of Technology at KPMG in the North, said:

    “From the eight shortlisted businesses that pitched, Optalysys impressed the judges with the business’ innovation and the growth prospects, but also the exciting potential and application of its AI technology.

    “The finalists of this competition now have an opportunity to pitch in front of major industry players looking for the next potential startup to invest in, buy from, or form an alliance with. We are looking to take six businesses that demonstrate  just how strong Britain is in building disruptive technologies and innovative business models. Some of these players could already be making a huge impact in their fields, others may be hidden gems getting ready to reveal themselves to the world.  I am looking forward to hear their pitches at the competition and finding a business who will champion innovation from the UK.”

    The competition’s alumni include SareToNet, What3Words and Echo and hundreds of millions have been raised by previous participants to date.  The winners of the regional events will be flown to the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona in February 2019 to compete for the title Best British Tech Startup 2019. They will also be provided with exhibition booths at the Four Years From Now (4YFN) conference to showcase their businesses and get access to the Mobile World Congress.

    The competition provides an unrivalled opportunity for British startups to raise their profile, gain access to investors, clients, corporate alliance partners and a booth to present their startup to over 100,000 industry players. The Mobile World Congress is one of the world’s largest annual technology industry gathering, organised by the GSMA. Last year the event attracted over 100,000 attendees from all parts of the world, including over 7,000 CEO participants, 2,000 exhibitors and 3,500 international media and analysts.  Hundreds of investors attend the event in Barcelona all of whom are searching for the next unicorn to get involved with.